Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Things Spread

About Yuval Harari's TED Talk

Historian Yuval Harari explains how human imagination powered the growth and spread of homo sapiens around the world.

About Yuval Harari

Loretta Lynn's career in country music has spanned decades. She's recorded more than 200 songs, and more than 50 albums. Her latest, out today, is Full Circle — and it's a fitting title, considering that the self-dubbed "coal miner's daughter" has lived more in her 83 years than many might live in two lifetimes.

First, it's not really black. It's not even a color or a pigment. "Vantablack" is a "material," according to Surrey NanoSystems, the British company that created it.

In 1933, an effervescent comedy called Design for Living gave us two men and a woman living cozily together as roommates, no sex. But when that boundary starts to break down, the woman, played by Miriam Hopkins, points out an inequity:

"A man can meet two, three or even four women and fall in love with all of them; and then by a process of interesting elimination, he's able to decide which one he prefers. But a woman must decide purely on instinct — guess work – if she wants to be considered nice."

I can't say I ever expected to be writing about Donald Trump, Republican frontrunner, back when I was writing about Donald Trump, reality-show guy.

Flint, Mich., isn't the only American city with a lead problem. Though the health crisis in Flint has highlighted the use of lead in water pipes, author David Rosner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that lead, which is a neurotoxin, can be found throughout the U.S. on walls, in soil and in the air.

"The problem with lead is that it's now really everywhere, and we've created a terribly toxic environment in all sorts of ways," he says.

Steve Sansweet: The Force Is Right

Mar 3, 2016

Our Meet the Expert has been called the ultimate Star Wars fanboy! Steve Sansweet was a Wall Street Journal reporter when he began his collection of Star Wars relics by fishing out the film's marketing booklet from his colleague's trash. From that fateful dumpster diving display, Sansweet has since worked as Head of Relations at LucasFilms, authored 17 books on Star Wars, and now hosts the largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

We Built This City

Mar 3, 2016

While in S.F., we enjoyed the local culture...like a little band called Starship and its hit song, "We Built This City." But we rewrote the lyrics to be about different cities from around the world.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

You Can't Please Everyone

Mar 3, 2016

This game is about that old timey antique known as a book. You must identify the classic book we are talking about, from an actual one-star review found on Amazon.com.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

Nearly one-third of households on SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, still have to visit a food pantry to keep themselves fed, according to data highlighted this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It's Like Uber

Mar 3, 2016

We're going to pitch some app ideas! Each of them is a word or phrase combined with the word "Uber." So something that's like Uber, but for the plant that pandas love to eat, would be a "Bamboo-ber."


Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

Disruptive Spelling

Mar 3, 2016

Hulu — can you use that in a sentence please? Our spelling-bee-style final round is an actual spelling bee! We ask our contestants to spell the names of notable app and tech companies.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

After working as a regional weatherman at a northern Midwest station for nine years, Phil Johnston concluded that he didn't know a single thing about the weather. Rather, his forecast read "film school." Johnston took a chance and pursued his passions by enrolling at University of Columbia's MFA film program. Today, you've seen his work in Cedar Rapids, Disney's Wreck-it Ralph and Zootopia, and in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Brothers Grimsby.

The Rainbow Connection

Mar 3, 2016

Inspired by the rainbow flag, this game features answers that are a mashup of two things, connected by a color, such as the fictional Oprah Winfrey/Prince film, "The Color Purple Rain."

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

Pages